Monday, October 20, 2008

Money Saving Monday #3

When you're trying to save money, it's important to look at your expenses on a regular basis. Sometimes you're paying for things month after month when you could actually do without them.

This past week I have been scouring our expenses for things to drop and decided to drop the variety tier from our cable account to save $5/month. $5 isn't much, but it can pay for a gallon and 1/2 of gas these days. Or it can be added to a savings account. The main point is that little savings do add up!

I also looked at increasing our car insurance deductibles, but decided against that. We already have high deductibles as it is, and increasing them more would only be prudent if I had the cash to set aside to pay the higher deductible. I can work towards that, but I won't do it until I have the cash set aside.

DH doesn't realize it, but I have decreased our bottled water expense in the last few months. I know that many people would argue that we shouldn't have bottled water at all, since tap water is perfectly safe. I know that's true, but DH lived in Milwaukee during the time when cryptospiridium was released into the general drinking supply. He was infected and was severely ill. A young child he knew was also infected and almost died. Hundreds of thousands of people fell ill and many died during that outbreak. As a result, he won't drink tap water. We have 5 gallon jugs delivered to the house. In the past, we have made all beverages using bottled water. Lately, I've been using tap water for iced tea and kool-aid. Since we drink 3 quarts of iced tea most days, it has added up to a significant drop in our use of bottled water.

We don't use paper plates or bowls. Now, we DID use a lot of paper plates and bowls when I was pregnant and in the first few months after L's birth. They are convenient and easy to clean up, but they're expensive and add to the landfills. I did have to wean myself slowly off the paper dishes, but we're back to using plates that have to be washed. We have been since L was about 6 months old, but I still find myself reaching for a stash when the kitchen is clean and the kids have to eat again. What I should do is get back to teaching the boys to wash dishes!

Sometimes I feel that there isn't another corner I can cut, but with careful scrutiny I keep finding them. Some expenses creep into our lives and stick just because we don't give them a second thought. I try to review things with an unbiased eye regularly to see where a few more dollars can be saved.

Have you recently cut an expense that you realized was redundant or unnecessary? Share in the comments, please!

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